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Broken Hipster
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Looks great!
Now I'm all excited to get mine. Probably be here before the weekend if past performance from Chain Reaction is any indication. Always quick to get to the east coast.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well unfortunately it looks like I wont be able to use my Fox mounting hardware. The eyelet size is the same between both shock, apparently uses standard 12.7mm, however the Manitou comes with bushings installed where my Fox has what looks like delrin bushing/spacer combo and then black spacers on the outside. Not sure if I can press those out or not but I do not have the special tool to remove the bushing. Talking with Scott at Switchback Bikes on recommendations, really dont want to spend another $100 for the du bushing tool and new bearings to go along with it.
 

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Well unfortunately it looks like I wont be able to use my Fox mounting hardware. The eyelet size is the same between both shock, apparently uses standard 12.7mm, however the Manitou comes with bushings installed where my Fox has what looks like delrin bushing/spacer combo and then black spacers on the outside. Not sure if I can press those out or not but I do not have the special tool to remove the bushing. Talking with Scott at Switchback Bikes on recommendations, really dont want to spend another $100 for the du bushing tool and new bearings to go along with it.
Punch the Manitou DU bushings out and the FOX hardware will fit.
 

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So how do you get the white/cream colored bushings from the fox out or are you saying just get new ones?

If so these are the ones you are talking about in what looks to be the appropriate size of m8x22.2mm.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
These?


Get a knife blade in the gap between the shaft head and the collar of the bushing and twist, then get your finger-nails in. They pull out pretty easy.
 

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You might be able to use sockets to press out the du bushing. If not, RS makes a tool that is cheap or have the lbs do it for a few bucks.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yeah don't want to risk messing it up myself by building a ghetto tool and did see that RS one on Amazon for like $20. I will buy that tool but am going to call my LBS and see if I can have them do it real quick on my lunch break or after work.

I did find what looked to be the proper bushings last night while searching around on the internet but they were $18/ea, which really makes me then wonder if it would not be better just to switch to the needle bearings offered by RWC, since really you are already half way to the cost. Even going with a FOX based alternative is going to cost about $15/ea (if not more) so again with the RWC bearings being $30/ea will I see that much better performance from the needle bearings?
 

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Broken Hipster
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Yeah don't want to risk messing it up myself by building a ghetto tool and did see that RS one on Amazon for like $20. I will buy that tool but am going to call my LBS and see if I can have them do it real quick on my lunch break or after work.

I did find what looked to be the proper bushings last night while searching around on the internet but they were $18/ea, which really makes me then wonder if it would not be better just to switch to the needle bearings offered by RWC, since really you are already half way to the cost. Even going with a FOX based alternative is going to cost about $15/ea (if not more) so again with the RWC bearings being $30/ea will I see that much better performance from the needle bearings?
They'll work a little better but I bet there aren't many people that would even be able to tell much difference between bearings and properly adjusted and lubed bushings.
There simply isn't enough rotation of the shock pivots IMO to make that much of an impact in performance between the two.
The upside of the bearings for me would be the fact that they're sealed. Unsealed bushings allow dirt ingress and need more periodic maintenance. No big deal, seeing as they take about 10 minutes to service.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yeah see I am new to FS bikes so maintenance on stuff like pivots and bushings is not something I am completely aware of or know how to do properly. I do see where you are talking about the possibility of dirt ingress but really don't know if it is worth the extra $30+ for the needle bearings vs. standard bushing hardware.
 

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Broken Hipster
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Yeah see I am new to FS bikes so maintenance on stuff like pivots and bushings is not something I am completely aware of or know how to do properly. I do see where you are talking about the possibility of dirt ingress but really don't know if it is worth the extra $30+ for the needle bearings vs. standard bushing hardware.
Personally I'm going with Manitou bushings on mine. If I don't care for the performance I'll upgrade and have the bushings for when the rollers inevitably wear out or fail.
When you install your new shock you'll see how simple it is to service the pivots.

I've been looking out the window whenever I hear a delivery truck-like sound. Really looking forward to this upgrade!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Yeah I had it on for a quick minute and sat on the bike, can definitely feel a platform difference between it and the Fox. In the full lockout mode the fox would still move quite a bit but the McLeod barely moves. Rest of the action is all very stiff but smooth at the same time and you can feel the difference.
 

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I did find what looked to be the proper bushings last night while searching around on the internet but they were $18/ea, which really makes me then wonder if it would not be better just to switch to the needle bearings offered by RWC, since really you are already half way to the cost. Even going with a FOX based alternative is going to cost about $15/ea (if not more) so again with the RWC bearings being $30/ea will I see that much better performance from the needle bearings?
The new Fox bushings are the way to go. Your linkage won't benefit much from needle bearings.
 

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My Santa Cruz has a decent amount of rotation at the shock and needle bearings improved the feel a lot. Tried them on my Niner, which doesn't have as much rotation and it didn't seem to make a difference.

Recently picked up a Swinger and really like it. Interested to hear about the McLeod as my Niner can't take a piggyback shock.
 

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.... I do see where you are talking about the possibility of dirt ingress but really don't know if it is worth the extra $30+ for the needle bearings vs. standard bushing hardware.
Its worth replacing lower bushing with needle bearing on our bikes. I felt huge difference when I did mine. Upper does not move as much so bushing is perfectly fine there.
 

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mnt bike laws of physics
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I really appreciate the great information from this thread.

I agree about the needle bearings. You really only need one since one side of the shock has such little movement and the DU bushing there lasts twice as long. The other side moves faster and more rotation than the main pivots of the suspension which mostly all use bearings not bushings (except for Turner which are a major fukin PITA).

I didn't know one could use the new Fox bushings on Manitou. I thought they had different diameters.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Nope apparently with the newer (according to their site 2011+) they went to the industry standard of 12.7mm ID. So once I got the old bushing pressed out by my LBS the new went right in like butta. Shock is on now.

Oh and updated 3rd post with installation stuff.
First ride will be tomorrow!! So stoked.... now if they would make a 29er version of the Mattoc....
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
First Ride Impressions......

Ok first ride review time....

So on Friday when I got the bushing issues figured out I installed the shock and played with it in my driveway. I was basically just checking out how things felt and adjusting the rebound. I eventually found what felt like a good scenario and scheduled a ride with my buddy today (he had other things going on). The reason that I wanted him with me is that I was going to have him follow me and let me know how things were looking/reacting as we went over different terrain.

My initial settings are as follow:
Me: 203lbs completely kitted up with helmet and hydro pack that had 2L of water. Pack has spare tire, mini pump, shock pump, my phone, keys and other odds and ends.
Bike: weighs in at 31.2lbs with pedals and heavy GEAX TNT front tire.

Shock settings:
Rebound: Does not have any detents to show where you are, there are 2 full rotations of the blue knob between full slow (+) and full fast (-). Full fast felt very very responsive but did not launch me from the seat at all. Rolling off the curbs on full fast (-) it would instantly hit the ground and hit it with authority, full slow (+) you could definitely tell it took the bike a moment to react and come back up. I tried both settings, at extremes, both sitting and standing and sitting is where I really noticed the difference.

My setting that I felt was a decent compromise to start with was the dead middle, one full turn from full fast (-).
Shock: (IPA) Platform level has four very distinct positions;
Aggressive Descend: full open and squishy!
Trail Control: Trail setting that is not quite full open but still
pretty squishy.
Technical Climb: Decent amount of platform added for trail
climbs that have rocks, roots, etc.
Aggressive Climb: Basically full lockout
Air pressure was initially set at 150psi from the factory but when I got on the bike it felt REAL stiff no matter what setting the IPA was on. I measured the sag with my SAGGLE and literally it did not even register. I decided to drop the air pressure down and build it back up so I started at 120psi and measured. That gave me about 25% sag which is about where I like it (I like the rear a bit harder than the front). So with that set I left it there.

Ride Impressions and Review
This morning I went for a ride on our normal trails however I am going to have to redo the test as we were having 15-20mph winds with gusts into the 30s and 40s. There was one point where I came over a rock on a climb and was hit by a gust that knocked me over, yeah that bad (literally fell off the bike).

We hit our normal route which is about six miles with a variety of terrain, climbs, elevation gain/loss and what not. Out of the gate you have a good 1.5 miles of climbing that is everything from hardpack to rocky trail to sand. In the climb I left the shock in the Aggressive Climb mode and logged some info when we got to our normal stopping point. My buddy said that the entire time he did not see the shock bob more than a few millimeters and this was 85% seated climbing.

Next section of trail was some steep climbs with a couple switchbacks, climbs varying in degree of difficulty and technicality. For this I switched the IPA to Technical Climb and had my buddy watch. Again he said that the shock definitely moved a bit more but was not moving much at all for what we were doing.

After that we have a short, twisty turny downhill section of flowy singletrack which I left the shock in the Technical Climb position. Reason for this is because the downhill is maybe 3/4 of a mile and then turns into a couple hundred yards of fireroad climb. During this section I was hitting different undulations, bumps, small jumps and rocks and the entire time it felt as though my ass was FIRMLY planted to the ground.

At the top of the first road climb starts the next section, Creek Trail, which is a little over a mile long but all gravity fed downhill. This has everything from flowing turns, two rock garden chutes, a couple of sand pits, bridges and lots and LOTS of speed and fun!!!! This section is my absolute FAVORITE ride and during the fall it is filled with Aspen trees that are changing color making for pure elation. I switched the IPA to the Descend on this and let her rip! No matter what I went over, down, through or whatever I felt completely in contact with the ground the entire time, couple of jumps that I have felt like the rear was reaching out to grab the ground before I knew it was there. Really impressed with the response on this section and just how connected I felt with the trail.

Once out of this section then it is a short half mile climb to the next flowy section of down hill and the last 1.5ish miles of trail. There is a short climb to get to the top and again all gravity fed downhill, not quite as much as the Creek Trail but you can get going REAL fast on this section. For here I throw her into Trail Control and let her rip. This is mostly loose over hard singletrack that has a few rocks and roots thrown in there but really that is maybe 10% of the trail, the rest is....well... just trail. Here the shock just flat performed, I felt just as connected as I did with the Creek Trail section but I actually had platform when I did need to stand and pedal a bit. The few small bumps or drops I went off felt like the rear end was instantly on the ground grabbing tracking and amazingly enough my buddy and I picked up a PR on this section today?! I figured that we were going to be slower because it felt like we were going almost directly into the wind here but apparently not. At the very end of this section there is a decent jump that you can hit. Previously with the FOX I had to make sure to really put my feet down before I got to far in the air so that I wouldnt over rotate and hit nose first. Today I hit that ***** and it felt like I never left the ground but my buddy said that was the second most air he has seen me get there.

Here is a pic of travel that is being utilized. Looks like I still have about 10mm of travel left to use so I am going to mess with the sag/psi some more and see if I cant get it down all the way. With the FOX I was using every bit of travel, ring was just about to come off the cylinder body.

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

All-in-all today was a great ride, aside from the sucky wind which will hopefully be gone tomorrow. While I never felt that the FOX was a horrible shock it just felt....well... meh. With the McLeod I felt more connected with the ground and felt like the bike responded better than it ever has. So if the next few rides go like this I am sold on the McLeod. According to the Manitou manual the shock needs approximately 20hrs of break-in time to properly get everything going so I have my work cut out for me in the coming weeks but I have a feeling it will be ready for Sedona when I go there at the end of April!!! Color me impressed today!!

Oh and as a side note, I got an email back from Manitou and apparently they are in production of the maintenance videos for the shock. Their plan is that YES this will be a customer serviceable shock for normal wear stuff with more major rebuilds something that have not decided on yet.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Ok update for today...

Did same trail as above however I decided to lower the psi in the shock simply because of the remaining travel I was seeing. I lowered the shock to 110psi and the same exact setup of trails with switching the IPA in the same areas. Buddy rode with me again and said that he could see a slight difference but nothing huge.

He said he could tell in the Aggressive Climb (lockout) that I had a slight bit more give in the shock than before. I could feel a slight difference going over bumps, rocks and whatnot in the trail but nothing ground breaking or severely different.

Once we got to the Creek Trail section I made sure to switch into Aggressive Descend (wide open) and let her rip.. Same thing as yesterday, rear end stayed planted the entire time but did feel like it absorbed stuff a bit better. Main difference was felt on larger hits where I felt like the ramp up towards the end was not quite as quick. This was a bit more linear ramp than I felt yesterday, still very supple though still does not feel harsh to me at all.

Between this section and the last flowy section he said that he could definitely see that the rear end did everything it could to keep itself planted to the ground. We had his trail dog with us today so we had more frequent stops (water the pooch) to discuss. He did say that going over one of the smaller rock jumps on the Creek Trail that he watched me take off the jump and before I could push my heels for the landing the rear end was already making its move. He is thinking I may have the rebound set a bit too fast but the responsiveness feels good and I do not feel like it is packing up or anything.

With the reduced psi I am now getting what looks like full travel (couple of millimeters between the end of the shaft and the ring (about half to 2/3 of the distance in the pic above). Small bump compliance on this thing is still great, never felt like I was sagging way into the travel (the FOX felt like I had a flat tire at 180psi) and definitely has much better feel.

So I think I may try dropping to 100psi to see what happens when I ride next. I have never felt like I am bottoming out or even close for that matter. I will double-check the sag on the shock with 110psi in it (did not do that) and then make adjustments. Like I said earlier, I like a more firm rear suspension and softer front suspension (how Fabian Barel has his bikes setup). Once I find the limit of the shock then I will add PSI until I find my good compromise sweet spot. But all in all still very impressed with the handling of the shock.
 
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